The circus surrounding Michael Voris’s resignation from Saint Michael’s Media and Church Militant just continues to get more ridiculous.
Yesterday, one of Church Militant’s erstwhile employees, David Gordon, posted to Twitter (now called X) that he was leaving Church Militant and going to be “posting a total Exposé of all the filth and corruption in house, tonight on my channel.” He posted a short video of himself in his car promising the same at about the same time. By “my channel” he apparently meant his YouTube channel, because later, at almost two in the morning my time, he posted a long YouTube video which was the purported “Exposé.” The video was very quickly set to private, and then he posted that he was “overtired and mad and not thinking clearly,” and that he was questioning whether it was “morally right” to post the video. As I’m writing this, at nearly four in the afternoon the next day, the video has not been taken down but is still set to private. Earlier this afternoon Gordon posted a photo of what looks like the second page of a legal document and exclaimed that Church Militant “forgot to sign my NDA.” But since it’s only one page, and the numbering on the page starts with Number Seven, I can’t say whether the document is genuine or even if it’s a non-disclosure agreement in the first place. Maybe a lawyer could tell you, but I can’t.
I did not see any of the second video myself. One of my Twitter followers informed me they watched about two-thirds of it before it was yanked, and I will tell you what they said since the video was posted publicly on purpose and seen by many already: Gordon apparently disclosed some hair-raising accusations about Michael Voris’s personal life which I will not repeat. He said that the board wanted to cover it up and that Voris would be entering a twelve-step program and come back in a few years. Then he reiterated what he said on the shorter video: they owe apologies to the Pope and the bishops and that they were “too political” and that he stopped editing Mark White’s book “ordained by a predator” because White had been forbidden to publish it by his bishop. He apologized that they had been “political” when they ought to “educate.” He also apparently claimed he was fired along with four other people, that others had walked off the job, and then he asked if anyone knew of any work for a “Catholic editor.”
Another person who watched the video told me that that description of the video was correct. I don’t wish to watch it myself if it’s ever made public again. I hope it’s not. I don’t ever want to have to think about Church Militant again. I wish the dirty tabloid had never existed and I wish everyone they’ve hurt has been spared.
Of all the ways I can think of to take vengeance on your boss, this silly dance of promising an unnecessarily capitalized “Exposé,” advertising the exposé, teasing the audience, keeping us all up past midnight, finally posting the scandalous video. and then setting it to private, has to be one of the most deft. It’s a master class in passive aggression. If anyone’s seeking a “Catholic editor,” I suggest they look elsewhere.
I remarked about this mess on Twitter, and an anonymous commentator chided me, explaining that Church Militant is an “apostolate” with the mission of “saving souls” and that it is under “spiritual attack.”
One of my least favorite Catholic tics is referring to something you do because you want to as “an apostolate.” It’s a terribly pretentious name and it’s almost never used correctly.
The definition of “apostolate” is “religious or evangelistic activities or works.” If you want to call yourself an apostolate, you have to be doing something for religious purposes or to evangelize. If Voris and his cronies wanted to do something religious or evangelistic, they could have served the Church by becoming street medics or candy stripers or volunteering at the food pantry. They could have knit hats and sweaters for the homeless. They could have started a Rosary cenacle and prayed for people every Wednesday in the Adoration chapel. They could have opened up a Montessori school. Instead, they chose to found a tabloid that spreads vicious rumors about Catholics and hurts them. Multiple of my friends have suffered greatly from their gossip mongering. I’ve been mentioned in their rants as well and it wasn’t fun. They are currently being sued for defamation. This tabloid rakes in enormous amounts of money, which can be verified by a quick trip to their own website. They at one point had dozens of employees— not volunteers but employees. Voris drew a salary from Saint Michael’s Media until his resignation. That’s not an apostolate. That’s a cash cow.
I’m not saying the people involved with Church Militant can’t make money. I make money to write about Catholicism as well, and I feed my family with that money. Money is a necessary evil and we’d all like more of it. But my blog is not an “apostolate” and neither is Church Militant. We’re just people who write things on the internet.
Church Militant has claimed that the purpose of their so-called “apostolate” is “to save souls,” which is nonsense. Only God can save souls, and you can’t accomplish a good end through calumny and detraction.
The sin of calumny is making false and defamatory statements about someone to ruin their reputation. The sin of detraction is revealing what is secret about another person which is nobody’s business– not a dangerous secret that could hurt others and needs to be known, but a private embarrassment that nobody is helped by knowing. It’s not detraction to react publicly, however strongly, to something that happened in public, nor is it detraction to do investigative reporting about an abusive person or a fraud, but it’s detraction to spread gossip for no good reason. These are sins against the fifth commandment because they kill. They kill reputations. They kill a person’s self-worth. They cause great suffering for the victims of the calumny and detraction. Sometimes they can even lead to violence. Committing calumny and detraction is not an “apostolate” and it’s not going to “save souls.” It just might damn the gossip’s soul, but it will save no one.
I’m sorry for everyone who’s been hurt by this entire disgraceful show.
I’m even sorry for Michael Voris. I hope that he takes a good hard look at how it feels when people take your most secret embarrassments and spread them all over the internet. And I hope he learns a severe lesson and changes his ways.
Let’s all try to make it a better world.